HOLLYWOOD – Veteran actor Bob Balaban is to take over from Bruce Willis as perennial cop in the wrong place John McClane in Die Hard 6.

Director Noah Baumbach explained the left field casting choice when he spoke to Studio Exec earlier today:

The last Die Hard [A Good Day to Die Hard – SE] was such a colossal turd that the studio has decided to go in a radically different direction. Initially, we were looking at young upcoming action stars like Jason Statham or Chris Pine, but they made some fairly weak excuses and it was clear they thought of the franchise as pretty much done in. Then Bruce called and suggested Bob. They’d worked together on Moonrise Kingdom and got on very well. 

Bruce Willis confirmed:

I’ve always admired Bob as an actor. He has this reputation as a quiet nebbish type, but inside him there’s this inner steel that I saw instantly would look good with a machine gun, an undershirt and a flaring Uzi.

Balaban himself commented:

As an actor I’ve had a fairly wide ranging ride. From the nerdy guy in Close Encounters of the Third Kind to the nerdy guy in The Monuments Men, roles have taken me many different places, psychically and physically. Now as McClane I guess I’m going to China or somewhere in Eastern Europe and there’ll be explosions and what not. According to the script, I have retired from the police force and am now spending my time searching for antiquarian books when the terrorists strike. I hope I don’t drop my glasses.

An Interesting Thing Happened to me on the Way to the Die Hard will be released in 2016. 


THE MONUMENTS MEN: REVIEW – Danny Ocean goes to Europe to save a bunch of valuable artworks from the dastardly Nazis and the dratted Ruskies. For the mission, he recruits an unhealthy looking John Goodman, the guy from the Artist, Bob Balaban and Bill Murray as well as a middle aged Will Hunting.

The acting talent is there. Clooney has directed two good films – Confessions of a Dangerous Mind and Goodnight, and Good Luck were both creditable – so he knows how to do it. The subject is interesting and novel. So what went wrong? 

First of all, the film keeps desperately wanting to move us, so Clooney and co-writer Grant Haslov keep front-loading the emotion: with inspiring speeches before anyone’s done anything, voice-over read letters to parents underlining explicitly why something is tragic and Christmas carols sung by a daughter, sloppily juxtaposed with the death of an unknown soldier. It’s all a mush of a mushness.
Neither is the comedy as caper-y as the poster sells us, nor as funny. Clooney is genuinely interested in his subject and wants us to feel the heroism of his art historians in uniform. So he keeps telling us this, again and again, and the humor is vaguely apologetic and horribly gentle. Bill Murray does Bill Murray again, so if you like Bill Murray doing Bill Murray you’ll see Billy Murray.
However, entertainment can be gained by guessing with your friends what Cate Blanchett’s motivation is for being such a pain in the ass throughout.